x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Lorry driver in Oman crash that killed eight Emiratis faces charges

Abu Dhabi Police are working with Oman authorities as Sheikh Saif visits the families of the crash victims in Al Ain to offer condolences.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of Interior, on behalf of President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed, expresses condolences on visiting families of the victims killed in the Al Darayi Tribe in Al Ain. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Police
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of Interior, on behalf of President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed, expresses condolences on visiting families of the victims killed in the Al Darayi Tribe in Al Ain. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Police

The lorry driver involved in an accident in Oman in which eight Emiratis died is likely to face criminal charges.

Authorities in Abu Dhabi are working with their counterparts in Oman to have the driver and his employers charged with negligence.

The accident happened on Friday on Al Buraimi Road, a four-lane motorway, when an electrical transformer fell from the lorry and into the path of two oncoming 4x4s and a saloon car.

The eight Emiratis who died were in a group of 15 travelling in the 4x4s. The victims, all from families of Al Darayi tribe in Al Ain, included a one-year-old baby girl.

They were Swailmah Al Derey, 50, Hamid Saif, 23, Saeed Nasser, 26, Mariam Saeed, 1, Naima Nasser, 22, Falah Nasser, 21, Hanoud Nasser, 14 and Hajar Nasser, 10. Seven passengers were injured.

Abu Dhabi Police say the lorry was travelling in the direction of Sohar when it hit a barricade on the right of the road, which caused it to swerve into the steel barrier dividing traffic.

“This is a traffic accident case, so the traffic court will take up the matter within legal parameters,” said Col Hamad Nasser Al Beloushi, director of external roads and traffic at Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate.

 


View Sohar-Buraimi road accident in a larger map

 

“There are advocates in the traffic department who will take whatever legal action is required in the case,” Col Al Beloushi said.

He added it was up to the Oman government to initiate any legal action against the truck driver and the company he worked for because the crash happened in their territory.

“They will investigate the matter whether the driver is at fault or not. The Emirates has a legal system for all nationals and personal issues, so the legal experts will take the matter accordingly.”

The issue of compensation to be paid to the family of the deceased will also be decided by the Oman government, Col Al Beloushi said.

An official at the operations department of Sohar police in Oman said the relevant departments would take legal action against the lorry driver and the transport company for negligenc.

The eight bodies were transported to Al Ain and were buried on Friday after funeral prayers.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of Interior, visited the families in Al Ain to offer condolences on behalf of the President, Sheikh Khalifa.

The seven injured, who received minor and serious injuries, were taken to Al Buraimi hospital in Oman for treatment. Abu Dhabi Police’s rescue department later transported them to Tawam Hospital in Al Ain.

Two Omanis were also killed when their saloon car crashed into the lorry.

The number of dead is the highest from an accident involving Emiratis on Omani roads this year.

In August, Col Saif Abdullah Al Hajj Al Kaabi, an Emirati from Al Ain, died along with six of his children after their car hit a lorry and rolled over.

Oman is struggling to control its high number of road accidents.

The Omani police on Twitter urged motorists to drive carefully, avoid using mobile phones and drive slowly.

There were 4,177 road accidents in Oman in the first six months of this year, and 927 deaths in accidents from January to October 19.

That was up from 838 deaths in the same period last year.

The World Health Organisation says there are 21.3 road deaths per 100,000 of population each year in Oman.

anwar@thenational.ae